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Why Imitation Play Is OK

 

This post is sponsored by Ergobaby. All opinions expressed are my own.

Ten fingers…ten toes…two eyes…one nose. These were the first things I checked for when my daughter was born. Then I examined her closely, looked deep into every nook and cranny to make sure that she was healthy, to check for which parts of her resembled me and which parts of her father. She definitely had my eyes, my smile, my face shape. When she got older and her teeth started to grow in, I saw that she carried my grandmother’s gap. Her physical features were already imitating mine. It was beautiful. 

I started to notice other parts of her that imitated me. She would watch me so closely. I could be in the middle of cooking dinner and  I would glance over to her in her high chair. She would be sitting there, very still, watching me intently. It used to make me laugh. I would go kiss her cheek and tell her I loved her.

When she began to walk, she would follow me all over the house. I started to see her little lady likeness come in. The way she would tilt her head and look up with big doe eyes when she wanted something or how she would intentionally place her hand on her hip…to see a tiny three year old cross her legs and hold her knees, it still makes me smile. I realized that my daughter imitated everything that I did.

When this realization really set in, it made me nervous. What if  did something wrong? Said a bad word in front of her? Rolled my eyes? Like every mother, I was (and still am) overly concerned about every little thing. My daughter imitates me, the good and the bad. As long as I try my hardest, she will be OK. The truth is, children do not know why their parents do what they do. Even in imitation, they are unaware of why they are copying us. But when we are polite, respectful, and honest, it naturally teaches them to be the same. 

To Be Loving & Caring

I love to watch my daughter play with her dolls. She went through a rough stage where she would toss her babies all over the house. I would have to pick up her dolls and cuddle them, hug them, and love on them to show her how gentle and soft she should play with her baby dolls. I also demonstrated that type of attention with her. Being the love baby that she is, over the years I have learned that she responds better to hugs in times of distress than further discipline. Recently she began carrying her baby doll in her Ergobaby doll carrier and I noticed the care she took with her baby. She would hold her head when she leaned over, embrace and baby talk her doll, and read her stories in the morning. She learned how to love and care for her doll, which ultimately leads to her being a loving and caring child.

R.E.S.P.O.N.S.I.B.I.L.I.T.Y.

It is never too early to start teaching our children responsibility. The older Kamryn gets, the more responsibility I give her. She is responsible for putting up her shoes when she comes home and cleaning up her toys at the end of the night. She knows to eat all of her food and brush her teeth when she is done. She learns responsibility by imitating me. How could I stress to her the importance of being tidy if I kept a dirty home? The ” because I said so ” mentality has never been a mainstay in our home. It is “because I do so “. Children learn best by imitating positive action, not fierce military command. 

Where To Start

Once I became aware that imitation play is OK, I began incorporating it in our day to day activities. I will allow her to run bath water for her baby dolls and help me wash dishes. My most favorite accessory for her though is her Ergobaby Doll Carrier. She is aware of how to hold her baby comfortably and the beauty of being cautious in her movements so baby doesn’t fall out. She loves to wear it when we are out taking a walk or shopping and as a mom, it helps me because I don’t have to constantly ask her to slow down or walk beside me. She knows she has to set a good example for baby, so she behaves. Allowing her this little responsibility goes a long way.

For moms who are pregnant and already have children, using the doll carrier is a great way to introduce children to the idea of having a new sibling. Imitation play will teach them gentleness of having a new brother or sister and help them prepare so that they aren’t taken off guard by a new baby. And while mommy uses her Ergobaby Carrier for baby sister or brother, their older child can imitate mom or dad by carrying their baby in their own Ergo doll carrier. 

To find out more about the Ergobaby Doll Carrier, visit their website here

If you are looking for some fun Mommy and Me activities that can be shared with the whole family, check out Geare We Are‘s Best Family Tents. 

What are some ways that you practice imitation play in your household?

With love,

-Shanicia

Shanicia Boswell
ADMINISTRATOR
PROFILE

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Hi, I’m Shanicia! I live in Atlanta, GA. I’m a fulltime mom to one pretty rambuncious little girl. I love cooking, coloring Mandalas, and reading. To find out why I started Black Moms Blog, read our very first blog post!

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